Australia's white wine scene is a hotbed of quality, and very much on the up. The country's foremost wine communicator, Huon Hooke surveys new and established wineries, large and small, to name his top estates. As published in the Decanter July 2012 issue.
Margaret River, Western Australia
Vanya Cullen (pictured) and her deputy Trevor Kent push this exemplary biodynamic winery to ever-higher levels. The Chardonnay especially has acquired another level of complexity and charm in recent years. Wild primary and malolactic ferments, earlier picking and lower alcohols, sensitive usage and choice of oak and shunning of acid addition are all ingredients in the mix. The flagship white is the magnificent Kevin John Chardonnay, a true grand cru Burgundy impersonator, while the Cullen Vineyard Sauvignon-Semillon is also superb, and ages into something miraculous after 10 years. The simpler, more fruit-driven Mangan Vineyard Sauvignon-Semillon is also very good.
Cullen, Kevin John Chardonnay 2009
Tangy, edgy and lean, with a firmness and angularity. Chablis-esque: chalky, honeyed, complex and layered. Also tight, with frisky acidity. A magical wine of line, length and steely purity. 19pts/20
Price: £65 Bennett’s, Fortnum & Mason, Philglas & Swiggott, Secret Cellar, Swig, Vineking, WoodWinters